ABOUT INMAN PARK
Atlanta’s Inman Park neighborhood has the distinction of being considered they city’s first suburb. Nestled between DeKalb Avenue and Freedom Parkway, just east of Old Fourth Ward, this enclave of Victorian-era homes and lush gardens beckons visitors to partake in history tours and residents to put down roots.
Developed in the 1880s from land that had been ravaged by the Civil War, this historic neighborhood was created to be an oasis away from the city by developer Joel Hurt. He based his design on other trolley neighborhoods he had seen across the United States, and named the community after a friend, Samuel Inman. Inman Park was served by a streetcar and was considered the city’s most fashionable neighborhood at the time. Prominent residents included Asa Griggs Candler, founder of the Coca Cola Company.
Decades later, the neighborhood suffered decline after many families moved to suburbs farther north and the mansions often were divided into apartments. In 1969, efforts began to revitalize the neighborhood. Many of the homes were torn down as the state department of transportation prepared to construct Interstate 485 through the area, but residents banded together and won a fight against the original route through Inman Park and other neighborhoods.
LIVING IN INMAN PARK
Inman Park is Atlanta’s first planned residential suburb and also Atlanta’s first electric trolley neighborhood. Created at the cusp of the twentieth century, this ideal Victorian neighborhood — curved streets, generous residential lots and verdant parks — was built upon the wrecked land of Atlanta’s Civil War battlefield, two miles east of Downtown Atlanta.
Inman Park was the brainchild of a renaissance thinker named Joel Hurt (1850-1926), who modeled the neighborhood after other trolley neighborhoods he had seen throughout the United States. In particular, Hurt, who now has Hurt Street named after him, had been impressed with the park-like neighborhoods created by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, and along with landscape architect James Forsyth Johnson, plotted Inman Park in the late 1880s.
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THINGS TO DO IN INMAN PARK
Atlanta always has new restaurants and areas to explore, but one of its hottest neighborhoods, Inman Park, isn’t new at all. In fact, Inman Park has been around since the 1880’s—it was Atlanta’s first planned suburb with a streetcar shuttling commuters to downtown a few miles to the west.
Due to the advent of the automobile and the city’s outward sprawl, the neighborhood lost favor with residents in the 1950s and 1960s, but has since rebounded. Part of the 30307 zip code, Inman Park is bordered by the popular BeltLine Eastside Trail to the west, Freedom Parkway to the north, Moreland Avenue to the east and DeKalb Avenue to the south and is now one of the city’s most affluent areas and a popular dining destination for residents and visitors alike.
Walk down any of these streets—hint: Sinclair Avenue and Elizabeth Street are particularly charming—and you’ll be captivated by the colorful Victorian homes, many of them converted into apartments after the flight to other suburbs, and the beauty of well-manicured lawns and gardens. If you look hard enough, you may find the neighborhood’s hidden green spaces, like Springvale Park.